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Feds, city launch probes into slow snow clean-up

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Federal and local prosecutors have launched criminal investigations into whether city workers deliberately slacked off during last week’s snowstorm, according to published reports yesterday.

The Brooklyn U.S. Attorney’s Office and both the Brooklyn and Queens district attorney offices began probes after sanitation workers allegedly told Queens Councilman Dan Halloran their bosses directed them to skip street plowing in retaliation for the budget cuts to the agency the mayor has made, the reports said.

Queens DA Office spokesman Kevin Ryan said it is “reviewing information” from Halloran but “have not reached any conclusions as to whether a formal investigation is warranted.” Similarly, the Brooklyn DA’s office would not confirm a formal investigation but said it is looking at complaints.

A spokesman at the U.S Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn would not confirm or deny an investigation.

Separately, the city Department of Investigation has already launched its own probe of the clean-up efforts, and the City Council will be holding a hearing on the matter on Monday.

Joseph Mannion, head of the Sanitation supervisors union, could not be reached for comment yesterday but told The Daily News that he welcomed the probes as an opportunity to set the record straight.

Outer borough residents and elected officials have slammed sanitation for failing to quickly clear the roads after a blizzard buried the city in 20 inches of snow on Dec. 26. Sanitation commissioner John Doherty and Mayor Michael Bloomberg have denied there was a widespread plan to sabotage snow removal.

(With Erik Ortiz)

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